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tv   Consider This  Al Jazeera America  August 27, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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welcome to al jazeera, i'm john siegenthaler. here are the headlines. the obama administration says it is certain chemical weapons were used in syria, and blames the syrian government for the attack. the white house has promised an intelligence report on the attack later this week. >> translator: we are all hearing the drums of war being beat around us, if the countries are willing to launch a military act against syria, i believe the pretext of chemical weapons is false, baseless and groundless. and as i said, i challenge, i dare them to produce one single piece of evidence. inspectors from the un are
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still in syria looking for evidence of chemical weapons. one of the largest wildfires in california history moved deeps into yosemite national park. the city of detroit is getting a makeover. the state plans to demolish nearly 4,000 abandoned homes to remove the blithe. and at least 21 people in texas have been sickened from a measles outbreak. that's the headlines "consider this" is up next on al jazeera. ♪ ♪
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who is bash aral-assad. the syrian president could be forcing america into another unpopular mideast war. how did a man who trained to be an opthal gist turn into this leader. and a count think clerk takes what he says the current law into his own hands and joins the hands of those who want a marriage certificate regardless of their sexual preference. should one man be able to change the same-sex marriage debate? good evening, i'm antonio mora, and welcome to "consider this." we begin with syria, as the obama administration weighs its options to intervene in syrian's civil war, the white house's repeated calls for bashar
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al-assad's removal. >> reporter: after two and a half years of turmoil, leaving more than 100,000 people dead, the man ruling syria has earned the reputation of a ruthless leader, one the white house reiterated on tuesday must go. but he seems set on staying. the 47-year-old wasn't always interested in politics and power, his brother was groomed to follow their father to the presidency. but he died in a car crash in 1994. >> translator: the death of basil lead president assad to return home from london. >> reporter: six years later his father died and bashar was elected.
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he promised more freedom and economic reforms, but members of syria's old guards steered him towards more authoritarian policies, and reresponded with a brutal crack down when syrians demanded change. he said he is not oppressing his people, but fighting militants. he calls them terrorists who must be struck be an iron fist. as the clashes continued the guardian revealed a more private side. the president showed a flippant attitude towards reforms he had promised to resolve the crisis, and centered this clip from america's got talent, while she shopped online for pricey jewelry and furniture. the president has assisted he has had popular support.
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he says he is trying to protect his country and his people. but critics say he only wants to protect his own power. >> so how did he go from a westernized eye doctor to becoming the president of syria using chemical weapons to massacre his own people. i appreciate you both being here. you interbothed bashar and his father -- >> yes, i did. >> what is your impression of this man? >> i interviewed him very early in his term as president. and he was an unknown. whereas his father had been really ruthless, but he was tough, ruthless, clever, and the
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son was an unknown quantity. >> despite his western leanings because he had been in london for so long -- >> yes, and i think there were some hopes that syria could be broken off from iran at that point, strategically. >> and ed this is not a guy who resembled your saddam hussein and gadhafis. how he has turned out to be very similar to those guys. >> he inherited a legacy from his father, and that background was always there, and he was surrounded by his father's strong men. he was torn between two worlds, one with the british wife, him being english speaking, enthralled by the internet and wanting to connect syria to the rest of the world, and then he had his father's old military commanders around him who said
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no, no, no. you need strong men and we will look after you and your interests and your brother and sisters. you do the economic stuff. the internet, the tourism and we will look at the country. so military were the same as they were before. >> to your point, the author of the fall of the house of assad, points out when he first became president, things were thought to be different. let's listen to what he had to say. >> he was seen to be the hope -- he was called the hope in syria, that he would bring reform and change the system, and he was very popular for a good amount of time in syria, and it was pretty genuine. >> as you both said there was optimism, so how did he change? we heard ed's description of the
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kaball around him influencing him, but he could have made different choices. >> i think what has hand now is russia has really stepped into the game and iraq. they are far more important that assad, although assad certainly wants to hold on to power. when our secretary of state went to meet with the russians, he proposed a geneva conference where he would hand over power, five minutes later the russians were promising to send in long-range missiles, and hezbollah came in from lebanon. and all of a sudden when russia stepped in and iran stepped in more heavily, the balance of power swung to -- back to assad, who everybody in the u.s. thought it was just a matter of
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time before he left. >> did the u.s. underestimate his determination to stay in power? >> not only his determination and also his appeal among syrians. when i lived in syrian between 2003 and 2006, assad was popular, and continues to remain popular inside syria. syrians are increasingly faced between an al qaeda dominated opposition, and a dictator who has delivered stability up until the recent uprisings. so that remains still the position among many syrians however detestable it is to us. >> because of the demographics in syria too, there are many people who areal -- allied with assad and would suffer if we loses power.
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>> there are some people. but i would say there are a great number of people who are opposed to assad. many people are dying because of assad. and now he has stepped over the plate and used as secretary kerry said this morning, he has used chemical weapons. >> but the difference is that other dictators were not able to hold on to power despite similar circumstances. >> they weren't. but unlike libya, yemen, and egypt, in syria we have not scene huge uprising in the major cities. and outside the major mosques on fridays in the way we saw in egypt, because -- for whatever explanation, there is still support -- people are still going to work. salaries are still being paid. pensions are still being paid. and inside damascus there isn't that feeling they are at war.
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>> and he actually used to live a fairly free and kind of westernized lifestyle. in fact last year the guardian in england got access to some of his and his wife's internet records, and some of the stuff reminds you of the bialty of evil. they spent thousands on the internet and all sorts of luxury items. designer goods. swapping entertainment links, including magicians from "america's got talent" in their emails. downloading country music from the united states. he has an instagram account where the pictures all show him surrounded by loving people -- >> but this is not true. >> of course. if you look at his instagram account, it would seem that there is no war going on in syria. >> yeah. i think ed has a point there.
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the aloids who are only 11% of the syrian people, of course they are going to hang with him or they will be dead. in syria, tremendous strife is going on with the opposition group. i think it's a really serious opposition, and i really don't agree it's going on. and people are dying. they have very poor arms. obama's has promised to send in arms, but apparently they haven't been delivered. >> the more strongly armed rebels seem to be aligned with al qaeda. >> correct. and the syrian opposition has been disunited. >> in the spring he talked about using any means necessary to win. >> translator: if what is required is an exit from a national crisis, then there are no exceptions to any means that may help us exit this crisis. >> clearly was signalling that
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he was willing to do pretty much anything, but are you surprised he has gone this far given the circumstances and the red line constantly repeated by president obama? >> i'm a contraryian of him using chemical weapons. he has killed 70,000 civils, slaughtered 30,000 soldiers. >> so you don't think he did? >> i'm not convinced he did, because the motivations don't seem clear at this late stage in the conflict, where he is not losing, why would he risk this? >> that's a good question. he was winning the war by all accounts. >> i think that's a slight overstatement. i think syria is broken up into three parts, one controlled by
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the opposition, and one controlled by russia and the iranians. in the end you will have a broken up state. assad will not control as we once did ever again. i think he did use chemical weapons. i don't think the u.s. intelligence is make it up, and medicine frontier said they treated 3600 people. >> you are not arguing whether chemical weapons were used, you were arguing whether he used them. >> his brother may have used them. al qaeda used chemical weapons in iraq in 2007. in may of this year, syrian rebels used chemical weapons. chemical weapons have been used, we're not sure yet who used them. now it's important not to override the fact here and get caught up by the emotion of drum
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beats -- >> do you think his brother could have used them? >> no, i think that's ridiculous. i think the regime used them, and i don't think there is any doubt about it. >> why would they use them when they are not losing? when they have killed 100,000 people without them. >> i think they are very confident and they think obama is weak. and so far they have been proven correct. so i think there's not a doubt in the world, and when the un inspectors get there, they are not going to find anything, because they bombed the place. all of the news reports say that. >> let's switch gears, and focus on the assad family. his wife ten years his junior. her card was a prominent cardiologist in london, or still
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is. she grew up there. and worked for jpmorgan in new york city as a banker. you saw them in their existence -- both of you did, in -- in syria. how do -- does a young new york banker turn out to be a very powerful first lady who by all accounts is very influential over her husband and very much supporting who is going on. >> beats me. the person i have interviewed that knows the most about ah said is the prime minister of turkey. they were extremely close. and i asked him i said do you think he will go down with the ship or will he cut and run? i mean what kind of guy is he? and he basically indicated that he thought at some point if he thought it was hopeless he would get out.
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so far the prime minister who is very smart has been proven wrong. >> and he has pulled away from the relationship. >> oh, they hate each other. >> what about the role of his wife? >> she is a very strong character. she was seen as his bridge to the west. her father as you mentioned was someone who mobilized lots of british and european politicians to visit damascus on a regular basis and act as a bridge to whitewash the regime and give it great international respectability. but she was also seen adz the head of various women's organizations inside the country. he was seen as patron, and given them -- >> the sunni majority. >> a sunni majority state. so she had an important roll to play. but a year and a half ago there were real rumors where she was born and raised of imminent
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divorce between her and him and she was flying back with their three children. that never materialized. so there were real concerns about tension in that marriage. because she did not want to be a witness to all of this. but then some of the emails indicate that she was the one poking fun at notions of democracy. >> right. you talked earlier about this bubble that he is in, or the popularity within syria. we found a poll -- a pew poll from march, and what is interesting about this poll, is just how unpopular he is outside of syria. in fact the only people outside of syria, and the majority who support him are the shiite in lebanon. even in russia he is not popular. the numbers in russia are actually -- only a fairly small number of russians support him. only in the 30s, i believe.
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but it is one of the few things that the israels -- 27% support him in russia. so the level of popularity is absolutely minimal. >> that's true. >> so how do you survive? >> that's what is interesting? if there's so much unity against awe assad why don't they act in unison with the europe -- european union -- >> i think the arab union has called for him to step up. >> everybody has asked for him to step down, but the regime is very important so they can send arms to hezbollah. it's crucial. >> all right. we'll see what the next few days bring. we appreciate you both being
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here. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> a county clerk single handedly makes gay marriage legal in one area of new mexico. our producer is fielding your considers, please join the conversation on twitter and facebook and google plus.
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what happens when social
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media uncovers unheard, fascinating news stories? >> they share it. >> social media isn't an afterthought. america. >> al-jazeera social america community online. >> this is your outlet for those conversations >> post, upload and interact. >> every night, share undiscovered stories. >> the stream, tomorrow night, arabia for that. ♪ consider this on an issue as far reaching as same-sex marriage, does the individual have the power to make major policy changes? last week one man in new mexico decided to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex
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couples. >> we dropped everything and ran over here, that's why he only has a tank top on. >> she came out to the kitchen and was like do you want to get married? and i was like funny, funny. >> by virtue of the authority vested in me by the state of new mexico i now pronounce you spouses for life. >> yesterday a state district judge declared same-sex marriage legal in new mexico, that ruling only applied to two additional counties, but today three more counties decided to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and so far hundreds of couples have obtained those licenses. here so discuss this is the man who started it all, the country clerk of the country. thank you very much for doing this for us. what made you decide to take this matter into your own hands? >> well, back in march there was
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the filing of a lawsuit in albuquerque to force the county clerk down there to issue same-sex marriage licenses. there was another action started in santa fe county, but that was started at the supreme court. the supreme court was asked to take original jurisdiction. it refused to do so, all of the cases went back to the district court, and it appeared there would be months and months if not well over a year before this matter could finally reach the state supreme court. the attorney general filed a brief with the supreme court at its request to advise the court as to whether or not it should take original jurisdiction. the supreme court listened to the brief, and then -- and in the briefing the attorney general of the state said that in his opinion under our equal protection provision of the
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new mexico state constitution that such laws prohibiting same-sex marriage were illegal. when i saw that and i saw that the case was back to the district court and then we're going to go through the normal litigation process of discovery, notions, i decided it was about time to move forward. i looked at the new mexico state constitution, and at the standard equal rights provision, and it has a very unique provision in addition. and that is a provision adopted by the people in 1972 that no individual shall be denied the equal protection of the laws on account of his or her sex. i swore an oath when i was sworn into office this january to uphold the laws of the state and the constitution of new mexico. when the statute conflicts with the constitution, i have no choice but to abide by the
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constitution as it is the higher authority. >> so you believe you were following -- >> so i made the decision to begin issuing these licenses. i have been accused of making new law. actually i'm carrying out old law. >> the judge in albuquerque agreed with you yesterday, and in effect his decision was a very brood-based legalization of gay marriage in two counties. because it is a district judge it only applies in those two counties, but do you think this will now extent throughout new mexico? >> yes. incidentally santa fe county also issued a similar court order to the county clerk on friday, since that time, four more counties i'm aware of have decided to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples without a court order, even the [ inaudible ] and santa fe
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orders do not apply stayed wide. i believe within the next ten days this case will be up before the state supreme court. and i believe the state supreme court will confirm what i have done. >> the governor opposes same-sex marriage let's look at what she said since you began issuing marriage licenses last week. >> this isn't a political issue. it should not be decided by the legislators or the judges. it needs to be decided by the people of new mexico. >> what do you say to that? new mexico even though it has been a blue state recently, it seems that polls show more new mexicoia new mexicoians oppose gay marriage than support it. >> nobody voted on whether or not i could get married and i don't think anybody listening to this broadcast had somebody vote on whether they could get
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married. that is my response. >> do you think other countries are going to follow your example over the next few days before a supreme court decision? >> i can't say. interestingly one of the republican counties has begun to issue same-sex marriages -- marriage licenses. i don't know how many more will. we're all going to get on a stayed-wide conference call tomorrow to discuss this. i know the county clerks are seeking uniformity in the issuance of these licenses. we'll see what happens, but again, i'm convinced that the case will be before the supreme court very shortly, and i'm convinced that the supreme court will find that the marriage statutes are unconstitutional under our equal protection clause. >> we'll keep following the story. thank you very much for joining us on "consider this." coming up you may think
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genetically modified foods are dangerous, or you may not. but should you be made aware if you are consuming them. that's next on "consider this."
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there is a fight raging in the marketplace over what you eat. you have probably heard a lot of talk about gmo's. they are often used in foods you'll see in the supermarkets. the use of the modified food have increased over the decades, so has the skepticism. corporations including hershey
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and monsanto spent more than $44 million to win the vote. the bill supporters raised about $7 million. prop 37 was defeated by a little less than 3% at the polls, and similar bills are propping up across the country. john entine is the executive direct of the genetic literacy council. and patty is in washington, d.c. i thank you both for joining us tonight. patty let's start with you. 70% of food on supermarket shelves have some sort of gmo in them. given it is so common, why is there a reason to be concerned? >> we think this food is different. the crops are different, and just because it is in a large number of products, it is a manageable number of crops, and we could label them. we have a got of genetically
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modified corn, soy, sugar beats things like that, and people don't realize they are eating them. these crops are different. these companies that make them patent them and charge farmers more to grow the seeds, so then it's different enough that consumers have the right to know that they are in the product they are buying. >> if the industry isn't concerned about dangers, why are they resisting the labeling of what is in the products? >> yeah, there's a lot of issues in play here. i do want touchdown score that every major international science organization in the united states, in europe, australia, china, france, germany, brazil, everywhere, has some up with statements saying that genetically modified foods are safe. as safe as conventional organic
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foods, and in many cases they are far more healthy than even organic foods. we have a whole new generation of have it tin enhanced products coming out. i think there is a bit of disingenuousness in the argument that there's a right to know. there's no interest by activists, anti-biotech organizations for a right to know. there are right to know labels. we would say that genetically modified corn is modified to prevent micro toxins which we find in organic corn. that's a right to know. genetically modified golden ricin creasing beta carrotine which would save millions of lives.
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she wants to cut out choice. if we label we're not going to have any choice on these things, because scare organizations are trying to demonize perfectly safe products that the science community has already evaluated. >> the scientific literature overwhelmingly favorable to the gmos, and putting these labels on, might scare people? >> in terms of the science, much of the science especially in this country being used to defending these crops is not independent, and comes from the companies that want to sell these craps into the marketplace. so it isn't offering consumers independent evaluation of safety. and he mentioned a lot of countries, there's some scientific authority that says it is fine. many of those countries do require labeling. over half of the states this
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year has a bill to require labeling, none of them mentioned skull and cross bones, and they would have required basic things like this contains genetically modified ingredients or things like that shall -- >> but isn't the argument if you put any kind of warning out there, the immediate reaction, i'm sure john was exaggerating, but the reaction is i shouldn't eat this was there is a warning on there. >> i don't think disclosing an important fact about how the food is raised has to be a warning. we tell consumers the ingredients, the facts about nutrition. we -- our organization has fought for years to disclose what country food comes from. we think consumers if given these choice will make the right decision from them. withholding information is not
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providing consumers choice. it's asking them to make decisions without everything they need to know. >> john the use of gmos has greatly increased over the past decades. and opponents will say during that time there has been a rise in autism and allergies. how do we know that science in the long run won't link back to the problems. >> first of all, she makes a claim that the research has been done by industry. it hasn't been going on very long, and that's what research organizations have based their judgments on. that's patently false. there has been about a thousand studies of gmos, about 350 are totally independent, but financed by industry, required by the government to make sure
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that the public does not pick up the cost. so about a third of the studies are industry-based studies. when you are talking about the national academy of sciences, the french academy of sciences, these organizations have no -- they are not depending on m monstno. >> there has not been a serious scientific study that has been published in a peer journal. >> we can bicker about this all night, but when our regulatory sees in this country decide to approve this, they are basing it on previous approvals, and that many of those are based on studies and information that come in from the company that
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wants to get this crop approved. and i think that most average consumers with a common sense approach don't think that's independent enough. we have seen the effects of that in the drug industry. we have the same problem with prescription drugs where the studies are coming in doan by folks who want to sell something, and we don't have the ability to track negative health effects because we don't tell people what they are eating. so when we talk to fda and they talk about if there is a problem we would figure it outpost market. we can't do that because we don't label the foods. >> all right. let's go to our social media producer. >> john referring to what you might say is the general public's negative misconception of gmo's tech know geek asks do you see this being part of a larger problem with science journalism or something that is unique to gmos.
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>> i think groups like food and water watch, these are anti-technology companies, they are fearful of innovation. all chemicals are bad. pesticides are bad. we have a green revolution that started in the 50s. the reason we have the green revolution is because of genetic modification that has occurred. these organizations really want to stop technology, and the saddest situation -- we have an example that happened just a few weeks ago in the philippines, where vandals really desecrated, vandalized rice problems of golden rice that producer beta carotene that would save about a million lives a year, and it was destroyed by these vandals and supported by green peace and organizations like center for food safety and others who want
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to stop the technology, because if this technology is actually released, when this is approved, it is going to be a death blow to the carping by these groups that these gmo's are unsafe. they have an anti science, anti-technology, anti-innovation, kind of a right-wing view -- >> patty aren't there lots of benefits to gmo's especially to people in poorer countries. >> we have yet to see that happen. the u.s. is the bigger adopter of these kropt -- crops and what we have seen is an increase in herbicide use. the herbicides they were packaged to grow with, specific round up the weeds are starting to resist round up, so now we're
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escalating, and we're not seeing the yield increases that were promised. so we have a lot of marketing and pr, and not a lot of actual proof that this will do the things that the proponents claim, and there's a reason that small family farmers around the world protest these crops. they do not want to farm in the model that is being promoted by this technology. there are farmers around the world who don't want to get caught in that same cycle. and they are also objecting to this. >> go ahead john. >> gmo crops started -- was introduced by corporations 15, 20 years ago. as of 2012, 90% of the farmers that use this are in the developing world. more than half of the crops being grown are in the developing world. farmers are not about to choose growing a crop that yields them less money, that is a bad crop that forces them into a system
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that somehow enslaves them. the very growth of this in the developing world really makes it clear that what she is saying is just pure hocum. look at the september issue of [ inaudible ] it has a very interesting article on why they oppose mandatory labeling. and the reason they oppose it is because it's an unscientific view. it has increased yields as much as 25%. if we ban gmos it's going to cost hundreds of dollars a year. and this idea that somehow labeling it a somebody choice. they labeled in europe, and there is no choice. gmos have been taken off of the shelves. they know a labeling initiative will scare consumers and food companies who don't want to be
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sued by groups that this woman represents will not put these foods on the shelf. >> if gmo's are so good for us, if all of us are eating them every day why to polls show that most americans are still concerned about them. a poll showed that third-quarters of american were concerned, and 93% support labeling. is there just not enough knowledge? >> i think there's lots of things. 67% of the american population doesn't believe in evolution. i mean we have a really big lead eyed factor in the united states. how many people don't believe in climate change? we have human induced climate change, but a fair majority of the population doesn't believe it. so i don't think science is open to polls. i think we got to stick to what independent groups -- not even regulatory groups, the american
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academy for the advancement of science, the german groups, the french groups, the brazilian groups, every major organization says we have evaluated this. there are hundreds of independent studies. it's safe, and they have all come out against labeling, because they know that labels will in some way scare people and -- and lead to the kind of disinformation campaigns. these people are perfectly willing to hype and scare people and create fear and a sense that the science is somehow undecided. if you don't believe in the national academy of sciences and the american medical association, and the world health organization, then you are anti-science. >> patty i have got to give you the last word. please go ahead. >> there's so much there. i'm not sure where to start. we are not anti-science. we think the science has been politicized in this case, and there are thousands of examples where that happens.
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ranging as far as people saying smoking is good for you for so many years. when it comes down to the food industry it is fascinating that i think it's one of the few industries that regular loi calls its customers stupid. they are happy to put labels on our food to say it is new and improved and will make our lives better, but they are not willing to tell us this basic fact about how it was produced. if it is so great, they should put it on the label and make their case. this is basic information that they should stop trying to hide. >> all right. thank you for the debate and for joining us tonight. coming up volunteering is good for your community and good for your life span.
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there's more to financial news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, can fracking change what you pay for water each month? have you thought about how climate change can affect your grocery bill? can rare minerals in china affect your cell phone bill? or how a hospital in texas could drive up your healthcare premium? i'll make the connections from the news to your money real. would probably be very good at that also. that is it for al-jazeera america.
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in tonight's data dive, some surprising benefits to being a good samaritan. the golden rule can make you feel golden. volunteers were less depressed and more satisfied with their lives. the findings some from a medical school in england. good thing for us, because 27% of americans volunteer their free time. european lag behind with about 22.5% donating time. but australians are the most giving at 36%. it's important to find the kind of volunteering takes you happy. if their work isn't appreciated, it can have the opposite effect. back on the right side, all of this data comes on the heels of
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a carnegie-mellon study found that adults who volunteeral least 51 hours a year drop their high blood measure by 40%. but if you really want to get healthy, get a dog. a trial followed 369 people with cardiovascular disease, after a year, people who had a dog were four times more likely to live than those who didn't. i should note that cats did not improve the rates of survival. please cat owners don't get mad at me for that. coming up does achieving martin luther king jr's dream mean modernizing his strategy.
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wednesday tens of thousands of people will gather at the lincoln memorial to commemorate the 50th an verse of martin luther king jr's march on washington. it wasn't until may of that year when brutal police beatings, vicious dogs and fire hosing being turned on african-americans in birmingham,
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alabama brought about the march. joining me from washington, d.c. to discuss this is sierra tailor. and here in the studio, brittany cooper, contributor for and director at rutgers university. thank you both for being here. the events surrounding wednesday's big celebration started a few days ago. and you said you weren't that impressed with what was going on and you likened them to a funeral. >> yes, i found it to be uninspired and anti-climatic. you compare it to what happened on saturday, there was not even that much coverage on television, let alone a lot of conversation about it. so i'm not sure it captured the spirit of where we are as a nation.
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>> your organization has been very involved in the celebrations. you have a different view of the march. what does it mean to you? >> i have to say on many accounts i have to agree with dr. cooper, but we were fortunate enough to participate in a series of events called we got next, which was a youth-based events during the weekend. you know, we lead a march on alec, the american legislative exchange council, we also had several different panels where we had intergenerational dialogue between people ages 18 to 35, what we called the youth to snik legends like bob moses or reverend barber from north carolina. >> so you see the events as being inspiring, and what positive effect do you hope will come out of it? >> i think the -- i think that what -- what was really coming
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out of it is that we were able to sort of commemorate and remember martin luther king jr's dream, and be able to do so with people across the country that we wouldn't normally have the opportunity to speak with, but i think a lot of people in speaking this past weekend have really started to organize a strategy around where we need to move going forward. so i think we're looking forward to action and specific freedom summer. the 50th anniversary of freedom summer is right around the corner. >> brittany what do you think dr. king would think today watching these celebrations? >> i think he would be honored but he would be pushing us to move forward. i think he would be disheart eped at the increased militarization in the country, and i think he would be pushing us to have a broader moral vision and be courageous in
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terms of where we go from here. >> what do you think he would look when you look at a poll where 32% of african-americans don't think things are better since that speech. i was a child back then, and i remember the kind of discrimination that was present in almost every aspect of life living in suburban washington, d.c. things have changed a lot, don't you think? >> we have an african american president and african american attorney general, but when you talk about what is happening in people's lives, they have lost half of their net worth -- >> but everybody has lost -- >> but no other demographic has lost as much.
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>> the dropout rate in high school is much loweren than it was back then. >> sure, but we're seeing the kinds of policies in philadelphia, detroit, and chicago, that are gutting those urban areas, and at the end of king's life, he was talking about what was happening in urban areas like chicago, so i think he would be asking us to turn our attention back to those places, and figure out how to create life chances for folks come that is sustainable. >> brittany don says we have to teach more than the sanitized civil rights. how do we connect it to the movements beyond martin luther king? >> i think she is absolutely right. in 68 when king got killed there was a more robust movement that was talking about capitalism, i
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had a friend email me to say that when she went to the march this weekend there was not a lot of accessibility for folks in wheelchairs. >> sierra dream defenders uses traditional situations to get your point across. you staged a month-long sit-in in florida for the governor's office. do you think following dr. king's for-septembe for-septembers -- for-cept are still the way to go? >> absolutely. things haven't changed. we haven't really won on the issues, and i think that's because, you know, jim crow, as people say, you know, it has only got more sophisticated,
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it's james earlco esquire the second. you know? it's a sophisticated racial undertones that effect us in every aspect of life. we were at the capitol to talk about the overall criminalization of our youth. the school to prison pipeline that is taking millions of children out of the classroom and into juvenile detention cells or adult prisons having eight years in polk county in the same jail cells as grown adults. >> to that point, there are so many problems within the african american community, so many men in jail, so many children, the majority born out of wedlock, do you see a march like this as something that will help the community? i know you are skeptical, but will it help? >> i think marches are an
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outdated strategy. folks have limited political energy and limited economic resources. what might have happened if we said let's have a series of local commemorations throughout the country so we think about how to sustain families, so that we think about how to create jobs and educational opportunities for african american men so they are not falling victim to the school to prison pipeline. >> brittany and sierra thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> the show may be over but the conversation continues on our website,, or on our facebook or google plus pages. we hope you have a great night. we'll see you tomorrow. ♪
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hi everyone, welcome to al jazeera, i'm john siegenthaler in new york. here are the headlines. the white house says it's about to release intelligence that formally links syria's government to the suspected chemical weapons attack. but a former weapon's inspector has this warning for the obama administration. >> not simply on the bases of gut feeling or that's what we think. we need it as hard evidence to show the world the proof, and once that is done, the picture will look very different indeed. >> also making headlines one of the largest fires in california history is still growing tonight